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Real Life Astrology: Leo

Maria DeSimone
Real Life Astrology: Leo

A couple of years ago, I spent a "girl's day" out at the mall with my then 3-year-old daughter, Annamaria. There's this store where they sell little girl make-up , costumes and trinkets. Browsing here makes Annamaria's day, so I promised her we'd pay her favorite "girly girl" place a visit. The look of excited anticipation on her face was priceless, yet even that look couldn't compete with what she was about to do.

With Leo being the ruler of the Sun, a Solar Return Birthday Report is the perfect tool to look at the year ahead!

We walk in, and as my eyes scan around in Mommy fashion for something appropriate enough to buy her, I feel a sharp pull on my left arm. My daughter proceeds to drag me across the aisle with great determination, while one finger points ahead to our destination: a tall display of children's sunglasses. She immediately pulls off the object of her obsession, a pair of pink sunglasses drowning in glittery sparkles. She places them on her face and beams, "Mommy these sunglasses are SOOOOOO princess -- I HAVE to buy them!"

As I watched my daughter strike a pose with her hands on her hips, I tried to remember if she was 3 or 30. Where does she get this from? Surely it can't be from me -- I don't own a single pair of sunglasses, and she and I most certainly don't have the same taste. She's full of flamboyant style, while I'm much more subtle. There is nothing understated about Annamaria. Of course not, she's a Leo.

The pride of a Leo

Leo is ruled by the Sun, symbolizing the creative potential within all of us. Leo is fun, carefree, playful and exuberant -- literally full of life and vitality. Annamaria, born August 13, is typically Leonine in all of these qualities. From age 2 she was singing along to the songs on the radio during our car drives. If I had the audacity to sing along with her, she'd quickly put me in my place: "No Mom, stop singing. I can't hear the song!" Translation: Stop singing so everyone can hear Annamaria.

She loves an audience and is a born performer. Whether it's dancing around the living room, singing in the car or diving across the pool, as long as someone is watching and giving her a pat on the back, she's in her glory. All Leos are born performers, and you'll find many involved in creative fields such as dance, theatre and singing. Anything where they can bask in the spotlight and have an audience clapping in the background will do.

Leos don't simply enjoy this audience, they crave it. This sign is learning life lessons having to do with self-love, approval and self-respect, as well as the uninhibited expression of their own unique creative energy. Some Leos fall into the shadow of what they are "learning to become" and manage to be either uncontrollable egomaniacs OR people who have a very serious distortion of their own self-worth in the most negative and unhealthy ways.

Many Leos, in fact, have the difficult lesson of seeking the approval of others in order to validate their own self worth. Once a Leo learns to love himself regardless of the opinions of another, he radiates warmth in a way no other sign can.

A friend in need is a friend indeed

Leos are also the most generous sign of the zodiac -- sometimes generous to a fault. They would serve their own heart on a silver platter if it would make a loved one happy. You can probably see another shadow lesson here. Leos, because they so deeply crave the respect and approval of others, sometimes have to learn the lesson that you can't buy love. Maybe it's because some Leos have great difficulty believing someone can love them for who they are. Self love is the greatest lesson for a Leo to learn. I see qualities of this lesson in all of my beloved Leo family members.

This brings me to one of my soulmates, my beautiful son Vincent. Born August 10, Vincent is very different from his sister, in that the easy, effusive, open expression of Leo energy isn't readily accessible to him. This is because Vincent's Leo Sun is intercepted in his birth chart. I like to call planets that are intercepted as being "in the closet." Sure, the energy is there, but it's much more difficult to harness it or even acknowledge it because it's trapped within the birth chart. This can result in some interesting problems for a person with intercepted planets.

The tamer Lion

Vincent, like any other Leo, needs attention and approval. But Vincent kind of spites himself in the ways he goes about trying to get attention. He often resorts to negative attention seeking behaviors to solicit a reaction from others, thus putting him in the spotlight in a less than desirable manner. Vincent has a very hard time expressing his need for attention and approval -- in fact he probably denies it. Whereas his sister will demand that all eyes be on her every move, Vincent will never make such a statement. Instead, he'll become the "class clown" and draw attention to himself by making others laugh, or he will break a class rule on purpose because he knows it will get the teacher to pay individual attention to him.

I've observed that he has more difficulty with breaking rules in school than in summer camp. Why? My theory is that with 25 children and one teacher in a classroom, he has to try very hard to get his intercepted Sun heard, while in camp there are 11 children and four camp counselors. Vincent is easily getting all the attention he needs, and all I've been hearing is what a pleasure he is to have at camp -- he hasn't broken a rule yet. He is the type of child who would clearly benefit from the smaller classrooms of a private school.

While Vincent pulls away from being in the spotlight, he's the one I inevitably find dancing and singing in the living room when he believes no one is watching. He's still a Leo after all!

My son truly amazes me with his generosity and compassionate heart. All the interception in the world can't erase the combination of a Leo Sun/Moon/North node with Pisces rising. From the age of 2 he insisted I give away some of his toys and clothes to "the boys and girls who have none." Once, we watched a "Feed the Children" infomercial together. He put the phone in my lap and told me to call and give them money. He was barely 3 at the time!

I can't leave Leo without noting the fact that they are a fire sign. There is a boundless energy, enthusiasm and optimism in every Leo, and whether they are 3 or 93, the heart of a Leo always belongs to a child. Respect them, love them unconditionally, and never bruise their ego or take advantage of their generous nature and you will witness them shine in their natural light. Even better, they'll share this light with you -- just like the Sun.

Remember to look at your personalized, detailed month-by-month analysis of the year to come with a Solar Return Birthday Report »

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